Mountain Views Atop Loveland Pass in Spring
Mountain Views Atop Loveland Pass in Spring

Tips for Your Colorado Elopement Adventure

Filed in Elopement, Tips  /  Updated on February 28, 2023 /

Colorado has become a popular elopement location over the last decade! Eloping in Colorado offers many benefits – you can self-solemnize, you can add in elements of adventure and activity into your day, and for the most part, many locations are accessible. With the large variety of destinations, Colorado allows couples and their guests to experience eloping in a way that resonate with them and their personalities. After shooting elopements for the past three years in Colorado, I put together a list of some of the things that I chat with my clients about when they are to considering choosing Colorado as their elopement destination.

Permits and Reservations for Colorado Elopements

With the increase in popularity of recreating and traveling within Colorado, there are increased measures in place to ensure that nature is preserved and that areas stay within safe capacity. Many highly trafficked locations require advanced reservations to camp, hike, or visit. To find out if a location you will visiting requires a permit or a reservation- contact the ranger district, refer to the area’s website, or reach out to a local visitor center. Often times, wedding industry vendors will be a resource as well! As I work with couples to suggest locations within Colorado, I also offer permit assistance with my elopement packages. Reach out for help planning. When selecting a location to get married, the accessibility/cost of permits, the ability to have guests, and the ease of access should be factors to consider as it could impact the logistics of your day. Permit fees, and approval timeline will vary based on the destination.

Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) requires a timed reservation to visit during peak season. Rocky Mountain National Park also requires a permit for couples who want to have a ceremony or take photos within the park.

Weather and Altitude in Colorado

We truly get all four seasons here in Colorado. I personally love the late Spring season as the weather is warm and tourism hasn’t picked up fully yet in popular destinations. I also love the fall season here with the changing leaves and warm afternoons. Depending on where you plan to get married, the altitude can be a huge factor to consider for your day, as it can impact the weather, your guests, and how you feel. If you’re visiting a location with a mountain backdrop, chances are you’re going to be at a higher elevation. Avoid altitude sickness by allowing yourself time to acclimate. Plan on arriving a few days before your elopement to allow your body to adjust to the elevation. When you’re here, drink water, and plan meals that will accommodate the activities you will be doing. Another thing to consider is the effects of alcohol at altitude. If you’re celebrating with a drink, make sure you and your guests stay hydrated. You’re going to have an amazing time while you’re here, there are so many things to do, and the elopement day can fly by. Give yourself time to rest and relax.

Winter Elopement in Colorado

Consider the Terrain – Pack for the Conditions

Colorado is known for having rapid, and ever-changing weather. The seasons can bring heavy rainstorms, dry heat or blizzard conditions. Different parts of the state can have huge differences in weather during the same day. As you work your way higher up in altitude, it could bring cooler temperatures and thunderstorms. With the weather being unpredictable, it’s important to be prepared for anything. Check the weather a week before your trip, as well as the day before you leave. While you’re here, use the NOAA weather site daily. Packing for the weather ensures you have the best time on your day! Another thing to consider when preparing for your elopement is footwear. Part of the adventure is the getting there comfortably. Pack attire and shoes that compliment your Colorado elopement and the terrain that you will be visiting.

Traveling during winter? Check out the Traction and Chain Laws in Colorado

No Officiant Needed for Getting Married in Colorado

Did you know that you can get married without an officiant present? Colorado is a state where couples can self-solemnize. Pick up your marriage license on a weekday at a Clerk and Recorder office in Colorado. Sign it on the day of the elopement, return it, and you’re married! Self-solemnization is an option for couples to exchange vows in an epic location without an officiant or guests present to witness.

Outdoor Etiquette with Eloping

You’re eloping in Colorado for a reason – maybe it’s the views, the activities, or a special place that you’ve enjoyed. Etiquette ensures that places stay accessible and that we can all enjoy the outdoors. Outdoor etiquette is major part of planning your beautiful Colorado elopement and in choosing a destination that accommodates the things you want as part of your elopement day.

  • Locations have rules that affect your vendors and your plans. Venues, destinations, and stays all have set rules that can impact your day. There often are local land management restrictions in place that help nature preserved. Some of the rules in place will affect music, ceremony set-up, florals, decor and guest count. When considering a certain elopement location, check out the potential impacts to make sure they align with your desired vendors and elopement day. Leave no trace and pack out what you bring in. Make a plan for packing out trash from food, drinks, florals, and other things that you may bring along on your elopement. Check out the The 7 Principles – Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics ( for recreating in the outdoors.
  • Trails have a social etiquette. Many of Colorado’s beautiful locations require a hike, ride, or drive to get to them. The Colorado Parks & Wildlife website can be a great resource for understanding traffic flow, trail usage, access to trail, and the type elements allowed within an area.

Have Questions about eloping in Colorado? Reach out. We can hop on an exploratory call where we can chat logistics and I can help be your Colorado elopement resource. I’m here to help plan your day, find the perfect location, and provide tips.

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I believe that photographs are capturing stories and moments that we want to have forever. They are powerful pieces of art that we collect and cherish.